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How Much Profit Do Soda Retailers Make on a Bottle?

Soda Shop Business

Do you want to know how much money soda retailers & stores make yearly? If YES, here is an analysis of the income & profit margin on a bottle of soda .

In Southern American states, for instance, cold American drinks are simply called “coke” or “cola”. Obviously generic terms. And it tells the deep influence of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. While in Midwestern states like Michigan and Kansas, “pop” is the most popular word.

Nonetheless, both soda and pop are sometimes pulled together. Thus “soda pop” is widely used in Western US states. But in North Eastern states “tonic” was once the preferred name.

However, “soda” is rapidly taking over now. From Southern Virginia to Louisiana “cold drink”, “soda” or just “drink” will do the job. Similarly “cold drink” or “soft drink” works well in New Orleans and Texas. In more rural areas American soda is known simply as “soda water”.

What is the Most Popular and Profitable Soda to Sell?

According to industry reports, American Soda is a multi-billion dollar industry. Statistics has it that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo combined accounted for $100 billion in 2016. This is probably almost the same number of Coke and Pepsi drinks actually sold, seeing as each drink sells for around just a dollar or two.

Coca-Cola without doubt has penetrated the American psyche. However, root beer and Iced Tea are what we would consider quintessential American soda. Root Beer is very versatile. It can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. You can buy carbonated or non-carbonated Root Beer.

Some Root Beer contains caffeine others don’t. Most Root Beer, however, are sweet with a thick foamy head. Iced Tea, in its own right, is popular around the world today. But its popularity in America goes all the way back to the 1870’s. Nowadays it accounts for 85% of all tea drunk in America. It is also a favoured alternative to American pop.

How Much Money Soda Retailers Make Yearly

Note that the soda bottle pricing and profit margin depends on where it’s sold. Restaurants and bars have around a 70% profit margin on a bottle of soda and soft drink, while retailers typically have between 30–50%. Distributors and wholesalers tend have a soda profit margin of around 28–30%, and producers will make about 50% gross margin.

The U.S. Soda industry has a three-tier sales structure. Each tier imposes its own mark-ups and retains a certain profit margin upon selling a soda bottle to the next tier. For soda retailers, you will notice a significant increase in profit margin.

While many retailers generally aim for their margins to be between 30 to 35%, the range can sometimes go up to 50%. In this tier, soda can be sold on premise and off premise.

On-premise establishments are more or less restaurants and bars, while off-premise vendors include retail shops and merchants. According to reliable statistics, the industry standard for profit margin of Soda at restaurants and bars is around 70%.

That makes soda one of the most profitable items on the menu for these establishments. In this industry, producers tend to have the option of selling directly to consumers. For producers, this is often one of the best ways to make profits.

When a consumer purchases a soda bottle directly either through Cokestore or any other channels, they typically pay the full retail price for it. All of which go straight to the company. However, the company still needs to account for other expenses on that bottle, such as staffing, inventory management, and credit card processing.

Average Profit Margin on a Bottle of Soda

In terms of on premise and off-premise establishments, the industry-wide mark-up on soda is at least 2.5 to 3 times the wholesale cost. A soda bottle bought at $1 from the distributor might sell for $3 in retail. But it can also be priced at $5 or more at a restaurant or bar.

Also note that retailers, restaurants, and bars have more labour costs and operating expenses to cover. The significant difference in price at restaurants and bars is because they have to account for their staff’s payroll, rent, and other expenses.

However, the restaurant soda mark up rate still varies considerably from one establishment to another. A bottle can be $1.5 at a casual diner and go up to $4 at a high-scale restaurant. At the same time, it can also only be around $2.5 at a local bar.


In summary, the American soda industry as a whole is very profitable, as the industry growth rate buttresses. For restaurants and bars, soda can account as one of the most profitable items on the menu. And soda, in large part, drives a lot of the profitability of bars, due to its constant need for dilution of hard spirits and cocktails.

Compared to food, soft drinks have the same cost of sales but doesn’t require as much on labour and operating expenses. However, one item alone cannot bring in all the revenue. Your business’s profit is always dictated by the quality of the service and products you offer.